The Tab Meets: Hasan from Gardies

BETH SWORDS talks to Hasan from Gardies on the social role of McDonald’s, the anticlimax of life and his hatred of meat. It’s very profound.

Falafel fights Gardies hasan MacDonald's meat souvlaki Turkey Van of Life

Now that more and more of you are finishing exams, Gardies no longer has to be fondly thought of as one of those glorious places once visited in a hazier, better time than this. You can start to revel, once again, in the greasy, if not smothering, texture of the Chicken Souvlaki complemented nicely by a saccharine backdrop of too many VKs. Hasan, no doubt known to many of you, will help and will have helped you through these times.

Who are you, where are you from and how long have you worked here?

I’m Hasan. I am from Turkey and have worked at Gardies for ten or eleven years.

Hasan (centre) and the gang

How has the common Cambridge student changed over that time?

Before, they were stronger. The body and the brain these days are weak. They have less muscle. Then also, they are quieter and less outgoing.

Let this be a message to you all… Get your act together.

The Cambridge student stereotype is one that works hard, the crème de la crème and (some) aspiring future leaders of our country. What is the Cambridge student you see at 2am like compared to this?

Some are really clever but, some are just really stupid. Yes, okay, they are drunk. But, sometimes, they are just quite dumb. Often these ones go to McDonald’s, though.

What is your strangest story?

I cannot say. I definitely cannot say.

What do you offer that the Van of Life lacks?

We have more food. We’re fun too – the atmosphere is better. Students like us. A lot of them know me by name. I know their faces too but I never know their names.

How do you deal with all these ‘weak’ drunkards?

You get used to it. At least they are polite. Our customers are polite. The worst ones go to McDonald’s or Van of Life. There, they have fights and have a lot of trouble. Here, not at all.

If you were manager, what would you do with the place?

I would target the décor. It’s too old. I would like to experiment with cuisine too. But honestly, I prefer salads. I don’t like meat too much and don’t like burgers either. In my time, I’ve seen alodda meat. Too much meat.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Honestly? I would not do anything other than this. I love the people. I wouldn’t want to leave it. I mean, sleeping in the daytime is tough but the sorts of people you meet are really fun.

When you were younger, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be a footballer. I love sport but…

What went wrong?

Ohhh, as with everything in life [a completely unexpected nihilistic profundity from Hasan there]. I had to give up the dream for practical reasons. But, we do have a Gardies team and are pretty good, in fact. We’re second in the league.

Favourite college?

King’s. It’s pretty.

If you came to Cambridge, what would you study?

At school, I did not study a lot but I like sport and the body…so probably Science. Biology maybe.

Have you ever been to Cindies or Life?

I’ve been to Life but never Cindies. Oh, but I go to Fez all the time. That’s my place.

Hasan has worked at Gardies for over a decade and shows no sign of giving it up anytime soon. Befriend him, chat to him, buy his souvlaki – do anything, just don’t go to Gardies in the daytime, as I did. Should be illegal.